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Why Immersion Learning Matters: A Perspective

Applying to college is a scary but exciting process. Picking out schools, writing a personal statement and stacking up all of your best accomplishments.

But there was only one experience that I was never able to put into simple words, and that was the 11 years that I spent in immersion classes.

Arlington County is home to four Spanish immersion programs, at Claremont and Francis Scott Key elementary schools, Gunston Middle School and Wakefield High School.

Arlington Public Schools says the goal of the programs is to develop “high levels” of proficiency and literacy in two languages, promote high academic achievement and cross cultural competence.

I started second grade at Claremont Immersion School in 2003. It was the first year the school opened and students came from the immersion programs at Abingdon Elementary and my former school, Oakridge. I spent half my first day reciting the multiplication tables in Spanish, the other half in English.

It was not always easy, I struggled with both science and math as I got older and the content got more complicated. I stuck with it, although it was common for classmates to leave the school so they could thrive in a traditional setting.

Language skills improve even more in middle school, when there are 11 hours of Spanish instruction a week. Because subjects switch throughout the day, there’s a possibility to go back and forth from English to Spanish. It’s a brain workout to go back and forth between the two every 45 minutes. Unlike the elective Spanish classes offered in middle school, the Spanish Language Arts class that immersion students take is structured much like an English class.

High school is the true test. Some students struggle with AP level Spanish, as you don’t practice the language the way you do in middle school. With block scheduling, you may only get one day of Spanish instruction.

Continuing to practice Spanish every day is a valuable commitment. Many of my friends are double majoring or minoring in the language. They have traveled to Spain, Cuba and Costa Rica to practice the language.

“I’ve gotten to travel the world with confidence in my ability to speak the language,” said Peyton Johnson, a senior at James Madison University double majoring in Communications and Spanish.

Aside from learning another language, the other perk of immersion is that I was able to forge lifelong friendships. Because there are designated schools to continue the program means I went to school with the same people from that first day at Claremont until my last day at Wakefield.

“A good portion of my closest friends are from immersion,” said Cathleen Madlansacay, a senior International Affairs Pre-Law major who minors in Spanish. Madlansacay and Johnson are roommates at JMU and met at Claremont in third grade.

Speaking Spanish has helped students forge relationships and have seen how immersion matters in a workforce that values employees who are bilingual.

“I have had unexpected conversations with strangers and have gotten job opportunities,” said Johnson.

Most the students I spoke to were grateful that their parents enrolled them in the program.

“They gave me an opportunity to not only become fluent in another language but also immerse myself in another culture,” said Allie Names, a Geography and Spanish double major at Mary Washington University.

Carolyn Harvey, who graduated from Wakefield in 2016, echoed the sentiment.

“I used to always be mad that my parents put me in Immersion but now I’m thankful,” said Harvey. “I always surprise people when they meet me and hear me speak Spanish.”

The Immersion program has progressed since I started all those years ago. The shiny new Claremont that started with 350 students is expanding its capacity to hold 767 students. Now, Wakefield offers Biology, Economics, and Personal Finance in Spanish.

As I approach my senior year at the University of Maryland, I realize how lucky I was to have such an amazing experience that has made an indelible impact on so many lives.

Brooke Giles is an ARLnow.com summer intern.

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Groups Plan to Give Away 650 Free Meals Saturday

National nonprofit For The Love Of Others and the local chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity are hosting a free lunch for those in need this Saturday at Gunston Middle School (2700 S. Lang Street).

The goal of the event is to give out 650 meals between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in an effort to help those who struggle with food insecurity. No reservations are required.

For The Love Of Others provides food drives across the country, and participates in other giving events to “empower, enrich and enhance the lives of people from all backgrounds through providing opportunities to enable them to live a purposeful life.”

Alpha Phi Alpha, the first black intercollegiate fraternity in the country, partners with organizations that are in keeping with the fraternity’s motto of “First of All, Servants of All, We Shall Transcend All” — promoting brotherhood while providing service in the community.

“The fraternity stands on the motto of manly deeds, scholarship and love for all mankind,” said David M. Preston, a local fraternity member who is helping with the event. “We wanted to partner with an organization that has the vision and the goal of service to the community that is when we partnered with For The Love Of Others.”

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Kennan Garvey Memorial Bike Ride To Be Held This Saturday

The fourth annual Kennan Garvey Memorial Ride will take place this Saturday, August 5, starting from local nonprofit Phoenix Bikes in Barcroft Park )4200 S. Four Mile Run Drive).

Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey helps lead the event, alongside Phoenix Bikes. The ride is in honor of Garvey’s late husband, Kennan, who died of a heart attack in 2008.

He was a supporter of Phoenix Bikes, a nonprofit that aims to educate the community about biking and help make it more affordable. Libby Garvey has served on the organization’s board of directors since 2009.

The race will raise money for the Kennan Garvey Memorial Fund, which will help Phoenix Bikes move to a more permanent site. The organization is set to transition to a new facility on the first floor of the Arlington Mill Community Center later this year.

The ride is open to all ages and experience levels with five different trail routes:

  • 15-mile course: out and back along W&OD Trail from Phoenix Bikes to Bikenetic (Falls Church)
  • 40-mile course: out and back along W&OD Trail from Phoenix Bikes to Green Lizard Cycling (Herndon)
  • 60-mile course:  out and back along W&OD Trail from Phoenix Bikes to Spokes, etc. (Leesburg)
  • 90-mile course: out and back along W&OD Trail from Phoenix Bikes to Bicycles & Coffee (Purcellville)
  • 100-mile course: out and back along W&OD Trail from Phoenix Bikes to Bicycles & Coffee (Purcellville), plus portions of Arlington Loop (Custis, Mount Vernon and Four Mile Run Trails)

“You can ride for as little or as far as you like on a great bike path that Kennan and I loved and rode often. Despite the heat now, it has been fairly cool for the ride for the past three years,” Garvey wrote in an email to constituents.

The entry fee is $25, with a minimum fundraising amount of $100. Each rider is encouraged to set a $500 fundraising goal, while children that are registered with Phoenix Bikes get a complimentary entry.

Pre-registered riders will receive a boxed lunch, and all riders and volunteers will receive a free shirt. All those who meet or exceed the $500 fundraising goal will receive a prize.

Courtesy photo

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Arlington County Fair Set to Begin August 16

The Arlington County Fair will kick off on Wednesday, August 16 at Thomas Jefferson Middle School (125 S. Old Glebe Road).

For the 41st year, the county will host a variety of events for the community, including live outdoor music, a parade, fairground rides and game, food, floral and craft competitions, pig races and more.

This year’s exhibit theme is “Let’s Play,” which organizers said celebrates the “child-like joy and fun that the Arlington County Fair brings out in all of us.”

The fair’s outdoor programming begins August 16, with indoor programming beginning on Friday, August 18. The event ends August 20, with outdoor activities concluding at 10 p.m. that day. More details about the indoor offerings will be available closer to the time.

The fair’s full opening hours are as follows:

The Kids’ Court, which has various activities including a moon bounce and face painting, will be open during the following hours:

  • Friday 2-6 p.m.
  • Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Sunday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Competitive exhibits for participants to show off their abilities and compete for prizes include:

  • Honey, Beeswax and Food Preservation
  • Decorated Food Products and Baked Goods
  • Art Needlework
  • Crafts and Fine Arts
  • Photography
  • Herbs, Fruits, Nuts and Vegetables
  • Flowers, Arrangements and Potted Plants

Local organizations and business can sign up to participate in the fair’s parade, which is scheduled to start at the Career Center (816 S. Walter Reed Drive) on August 19 at 10 a.m. It will travel from the Career Center and end at the fairgrounds.

There is no on-site parking at the fair, and street parking is limited to residents with permits. There are several other transportation options, including shuttle buses from the Ballston and Pentagon City Metro stations, the Career Center and the I-66 parking garage at N. Quincy Street and 15th Street N.

The fair’s live outdoor music schedule is below, after the jump.

Thursday, August 17

  • 5 p.m. Cuzko (Electronic/Latin)
  • 6:15 p.m. Danny & Jimmy (Latin/Urban)
  • 7:30 p.m. 40 Miles Home (Bluegrass/Indie)

Friday, August 18

  • 5 p.m. Lionel Ward (Elvis Tribute)
  • 6:15 p.m. Skyward Story (Pop/Rock)
  • 7:30 p.m. Sub-Radio (Pop/Rock)
  • 8:45 p.m. Wesley Spangler (Country)
  • 10 p.m. The 5-1-2 Experience (R&B/Neo-Soul)

Saturday, August 19

  • 12 p.m. The Restless (Pop/Rock)
  • 1:15 p.m. Dr. Robinson’s Fiasco (Alt-Rock/Indie Pop)
  • 2:30 p.m. Gettin’ Weir’d (Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir Tribute)
  • 3:45 p.m. Night Watch Paradox (Rock/Jazz/Cabaret)
  • 5 p.m. Atoms Apart (Pop/Electronic)
  • 6:15 p.m. A Thousand Rainy Days (The Police Tribute)
  • 7:30 p.m. The N2N Band (R&B)
  • 8:45 p.m. Harry Jay Smith & The Bling (Jazz/Funk)
  • 10 p.m. Funkhouse (DJ Set)

Sunday, August 20

  • 11:45 a.m. Kevin Olson (Acoustic Guitar)
  • 1 p.m. Power Child (’90s Grunge Tribute)
  • 2:15 p.m. Plastic Sky (Indie Acoustic)
  • 3:30 p.m. Dan Barry (Singer-Songwriter)
  • 4:45 p.m. Silver City (Americana)
  • 6 p.m. The Killer Cottonmouths (Jerry Lee Lewis Tribute)
  • 7:15 p.m. Crush Funk Brass (N. Orleans Second Line/Jazz/Funk)
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Police To Participate in National Night Out Events Tonight

The Arlington County Police Department will hold National Night Out activities in neighborhoods across the county this evening (August 1).

Police will take part in a number of activities with local residents, including block parties, cookouts, safety demonstrations, youth events, visits from emergency personnel and more.

National Night Out aims to better relationships between the police and the communities they patrol. Many police departments around the country participate.

“We are committed to building strong partnerships with those we protect and serve and effectively communicating to ensure the public’s trust.” said spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

“Events such as National Night Out are important because they provide us with another opportunity to interact with our community, hear about any public safety concerns they have and continue to use effective problem-solving methods to reduce and prevent crime and improve the quality of life of Arlington’s residents, visitors and businesses.”

Events will be hosted at the following locations:

  • Arlington Forest (200 block of N. Galveston Street) at 7:30 p.m.
  • Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (First Presbyterian Church, 601 N. Vermont Street) from 5:30-8 p.m.
  • Barcroft Community House (800 S. Buchanan Street) from 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Cathcart Springs townhomes (4600 4th Road N.) from 6:30-7 p.m.
  • Fairlington Villages (3000 block of S. Abingdon Street) from 5-7 p.m.
  • Park Glen Condo Association (800 block of S. Arlington Mill Road) from 7-8 p.m.
  • Nauck Town Square (24th Road S. between Shirlington Road and S. Kenmore Street) from 6-8:30 p.m.
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Arlington Agenda: July 31-August 6

Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Wednesday

National Coloring Book Day
Westover Branch Library (1644 N. McKinley Road, Suite 3)
Time: 10 a.m.-8:45 p.m.

People of all ages are invited to take a moment to celebrate National Coloring Book Day, an event aimed at adults as well as children, by relaxing and coloring. Coloring pages, colored pencils and crayons will be supplied.

Sushi-Zen Fundraiser for OAR
Sushi-Zen (2457 N. Harrison Street)
Time: 5-9:30 p.m.

Sushi-Zen celebrates its 20th anniversary by partnering with 20 charities, including Offender Aid and Restoration. Twenty percent 0f dinner proceeds at Sushi-Zen will be donated to OAR, with supporters asked to show the event flyer to their server.

Thursday

Columbia Pike Movie Nights at Arlington Mill – “Big”
Arlington Mill Community Center (909 S. Dinwiddie Street)
Time: 8:30-10:30 p.m.

The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization will host a free screening of “Big” as a part of the CPRO’s “30 Years: Celebrating the Great Movies of 1987 (ish)” series, which screens films from 80s once or twice weekly.

Friday

TED Talk Screenings at The Connection Library
Connection: Crystal City Library (2100 Crystal Drive)
Time: 3-4 p.m.

The Crystal City Connection Pop Up Library will host a TED Talk screening and conversation. Talks run for less than 20 minutes and cover subjects like health care, dating, race and the environment among others. The event is for ages 13 and up.

Saturday

Journey Through the Northwest Passage *
Cherrydale Library (2190 Military Road)
Time: 2-4 p.m.

Robin S. Kent opens a photography exhibit from his travels through the Arctic Ocean near the northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The opening reception lasts from 2-4 p.m. and an artist talk is scheduled from 2:30-3 p.m.

Sunday

Sunday Funday at Key Bridge Terrace
Hyatt Centric Arlington Key Bridge Terrace (1325 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 12-5 p.m.

An outdoor event featuring 10 options of $4 Flying Dog draft beers, $5 personalized mimosas and brunch food. Each draft beer purchase includes a chance to win two tickets to the Flying Dog Brewery Summer Sessions Outdoor Concert Series.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

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Wakefield Students Win National Friendship Award

(Updated 11 a.m.) Wakefield High School students Anna Tiernan and Kate Williams won the Alex and Ani Friendship of the Year Award at the 28th Annual Best Buddies Leadership Conference in Indiana earlier this month.

Tiernan and Williams were nominated by the program’s Capitol Region director and campaigned heavily for the competition. The duo earned votes from across the country for their efforts and were announced as winners live at the conference, which took place July 21-24 at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.

Best Buddies is a nonprofit organization that aims to create opportunities that for “one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

The pair’s nomination explained why they were well-suited for the award:

Anna’s and Kate’s friendship is truly genuine and exemplary of the Best Buddies mission; they are true equals and friends. They support each other’s interests – from Anna’s love of music to Kate’s involvement in school plays. They were highlighted on the local news as they prepared for their Prom together. They are always the first to start a party and the last to leave; from sporting events, karaoke outings, dance parties, and more, it is clear these two friends love to have fun and love each other!

Tiernan and Williams live a few houses away from each other, and have been able to develop a friendship with movie nights while also helping build the Best Buddies organization in their community. The pair were featured on Fox 5 last month when they were promoting the annual Best Buddies Prom.

Williams, who is the president of the Wakefield chapter, said she can see the impact of the Best Buddies program in the school.

“I think there are a lot more kids that recognize the students in the special needs classes,” said Williams.

Tiernan, who graduated from Wakefield this past June, says she enjoys her unique friendship with Williams. She said she is also looking forward to the organization’s Friendship Walk on October 21, hosted by local radio host Tommy McFly.

“I just want to be in a video with him,” said Tiernan, who said the walk is one of her favorite Best Buddies events.

Best Buddies partnered with jewelry company Alex and Ani, the sponsor of the awards, in 2015. Last year, Best Buddies was one of two charities that benefited from the sales of the Liberty Copper Carry Light line, and currently benefits a portion of the proceeds from the Arrows of Friendship Charm Bangle.

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Roti Modern Mediterranean Opens at Pentagon City

A new Roti Modern Mediterranean opened in Pentagon City today.

Roti is located on the ground floor of the Met Arcadia apartment building, between a Starbucks and an Orangetheory Fitness. It opened at 11 a.m. today (Friday), and will be open 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Sundays.

Staff marked the occasion with balloons and various other decorations, and before 11 a.m. were doing final cleaning tasks ahead of opening the doors.

The fast casual restaurant serves wraps, rite plates and salads, with a variety of protein, topping and sauce options. It focuses on “Food That Loves You Back,” touting high-quality, healthy ingredients. It also offers an option to “try a little of everything,” allowing diners to pick as many sides as they want.

The restaurant is headquartered in Chicago and has other locations around the country, including in Rosslyn (1501 Wilson Blvd), its only other in Arlington.

More from Roti’s press release:

Rōti Modern Mediterranean is excited to announce the opening its newest location in the DC area, in Pentagon City, which opens today. This past January, Roti updated their menu to include a “try a little of everything” approach to entrees, giving customers the option to add as many sides and toppings as they’d like. This past Spring, Spicy Lamb Meatballs were added to the menu at all locations. Packed with flavor and spice, the meatballs are prepared using red quinoa, Sriracha sauce, mint, parsley, red chili, and other spices. This new offering is gluten-free and a great source of protein.

To reinforce their mission of Food That Loves You Back, Roti’s space includes enhanced food presentation, new interior design features, and a hand drawn food story mural scaling the length of the dining room. There is also additional communal seating to accommodate larger lunch and dinner groups.

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Arlington 9/11 5K Race Returns for 16th Year

Registration is open for the 16th annual Arlington Police, Fire & Sheriff 9/11 Memorial 5K, a race organized by the county’s first responders.

The race this year is taking place on Saturday, September 9. Registration is $40 and is open to teams and individuals.

The 5K was founded by three Arlington police officers: retired Capt. Matt Smith, Detective Dan Borriello and Sgt. Sean Bryson. All of the officers worked as first responders at the Pentagon after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

After the attacks, the group was inspired by other police 5Ks that they had participated in and decided to start their own race.

“We started with mailing applications and sending letters to the police and fire chiefs,” said Bryson. “We really got a following.”

The race is scheduled to kick off at 6:30 p.m. at the DoubleTree hotel (300 Army Navy Drive) in Pentagon City. The race route follows Army Navy Drive, S. Joyce Street, Washington Blvd, looping around the Pentagon on Route 110 before returning to the DoubleTree, where there’s an after party featuring food and drink.

Proceeds from the race are donated to three organizations that support law enforcement: the Pentagon Memorial FundProject Enduring Pride and the National Police Suicide Foundation. The goal is to raise $1 million over the course of 20 races. So far, the 5K has raised $650,000 in its first 15.

“This is a moment to reflect and a moment to be together. That we never forgot what happened,” said Bryson.

Registration is open through race day. All registered runners will receive a long sleeve commemorative race shirt.

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First Responders Prepare for Annual Block Party, Film Silly Video

Arlington’s police, fire and sheriff’s departments are gearing up for their third annual block party, hosted this year on Saturday, August 26 at Kenmore Middle School (200 S. Carlin Springs Road).

The free block party is an effort the connect the community with police officers. One of the highlights of the event will be “Behind the Badge,” an activity that will give attendees the chance to simulate real-world police scenarios.

It includes brief training on police tactics and will allow participants to play the role of a police officer in two scenarios.

The event will also offer free vehicle VIN etching, demonstrations from police K-9s and motorcycle officers, a distracted driving course, free food and drink and more.

“It’s an opportunity for public safety to give back to our community and also for the community to enjoy entertainment while getting to know the men and women who serve and protect Arlington County,” said Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

To get the word out about the block party, the department is creating promotional videos that show another side of Arlington’s men and women in blue. An anonymous tipster spotted the filming of one such video in progress last week.

“Yesterday, I saw five or six ACPD officers filming some kind of video in the large swimming pool at the Dorchester Towers apartment complex off of Columbia Pike,” said the tipster. “Someone was filming the officers in what looked like full uniform — doing things like cannonballing into the pool and doing synchronized swimming routines!”

Savage said ACPD is filming “some creative videos” for the block party, and that those videos will be released closer to the event. She shared one still image from the filming, above.

Photo via Arlington County Police Department

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Jury Duty Fraud Scam Targets Arlington Residents

Another scammer who claims to be serving an arrest warrant for a supposed jury duty mix-up is targeting Arlington residents.

A reader said a man claiming to be a Sgt. Jimmy Jackson with the Arlington County Police Department called her saying there was a warrant out for her arrest due to the mix-up. Police reported a similar scam earlier this year.

Unlike previous scams, the reader said the caller did not ask for money right away, but instead stated that they had to schedule an in-person affidavit. He said the money paid for reserving a time block would be refunded at a future court appearance.

Although the scammer name drops Arlington General District Court clerk Steven Robert Spurr and Chief Judge William T. Newman from Arlington Circuit Court, police said the badge number he cites — No. 3319 — is fake. County courts also always send any information for jury duty by mail or email.

Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage said no badge number begins with the digits 33, and that police will never ask for money over the phone. Savage also encouraged any victims of fraud to report it at the county’s online reporting system.

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County Sewage Plant Set For Repairs

The county’s sewage plant is set for repairs after the Arlington County Board approved a five-year contract at its meeting on Saturday.

The Water Pollution Control Plant’s concrete tanks at 3402 S. Glebe Road, near the Aurora Highlands and Arlington Ridge neighborhoods, are struggling with structural deterioration. They will be repaired with grouting, coating, crack injection, or by other means by an on-call contractor during the five-year contract.

The plant has 60 concrete sewage channels and tanks that help treat the county’s wastewater, and — despite recent upgrades — some of the tanks are over 65 years old.

The contract has a set cost of $1.25 million, with an additional $125,000 set aside as a contingency. In recommending the plan, county staff said scheduling repairs ahead of time rather than doing them on an emergency basis will reduce costs and risk to construction workers.

The County Board approved the contract as part of its consent agenda at its meeting Saturday (July 15).

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Arlington Independent Media Launches On Demand Programming

Arlington Independent Media’s content is now available online on demand.

It is a part of AIM’s effort to make local productions more accessible to those around Arlington or elsewhere.

With the on demand option, AIM programs can be viewed online, from home or elsewhere. The move is intended to help expand AIM’s viewership beyond those who have access to the network’s cable channel via Comcast or Verizon.

The website update also features a more detailed schedule of AIM’s public access programming.

More from an AIM press release:

A new web platform has arrived for video programming at Arlington Independent Media. For the first time in its history, starting on July 14th, 2017, AIM will launch a video-on-demand capability for content produced through its facilities. It will also offer a more detailed lineup of scheduled programming, specific to the very minute that a program airs on its television channels, Comcast 69 and Verizon 38. Together these resources will improve Arlington County’s access to view and enjoy a wide array of diverse content created by local producers, including public forums, newscasts, and talk shows.

All video programming applications have been enhanced and freshly synchronized on the Arlington Independent Media website, www.arlingtonmedia.org. A live stream is available for every viewer living within and outside of Arlington County to watch, along with updated information about current programs. Keep an eye out for the stream’s slideshow graphics, which include notices on training workshops, events, and announcements from AIM.

These additions enhance AIM’s longtime mission to bring independent voices together, to make people into producers, not just consumers, of media, and to facilitate freedom of expression in the community. Now AIM welcomes you to experience the next level of enriching that goal. Raise your voice!

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Thomas Jefferson Middle School Set For New Turf Fields

The turf fields at Thomas Jefferson Middle School are set to be replaced in the next year.

The Arlington County Board will vote Saturday (July 15) on a plan to replace the fields with synthetic turf. Staff from the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation said in a report that the current fields are “worn beyond reasonable repair.”

For the past eight years, the turf fields at TJ have been used in the neighborhood and for scheduled use by affiliated sports leagues and school programs.

The upgrades at the field are part of the county’s Synthetic Turf Program, aimed at replacing heavily-used natural grass fields. Currently, there are 15 synthetic turf fields in Arlington, although the move to add more has come in for some criticism from some.

In addition to the new turf, the fields would get new corner flags and goals for soccer games, as well as new bleachers.

The upgrades would coincide with the construction of the county’s new elementary school on the west end of the site, and staff said Arlington Public Schools will plan out activities with the two projects in mind.

APS will share the cost of the upgrades with the county. Just under $475,000 would be spent on the new field, with an extra $47,000 held as a contingency.

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County To Ask State For Control of Fairfax Drive

(Updated at 2:10 p.m.) The county could gain control of a section of Fairfax Drive under a plan before the Arlington County Board.

The Board will vote Saturday on whether to request that the Virginia Department of Transportation and Commonwealth Transportation Board transfer control of the road between its intersections with N. Glebe Road and N. Barton Street. Both bodies would then have to approve the transfer, but VDOT has already tentatively agreed to the deal.

If Arlington gains control of the section of Fairfax Drive and 10th Street N. between Ballston and Courthouse, also known as Route 237, it would limit VDOT’s involvement in construction projects.

Currently, roads under VDOT’s control require extensive review before any construction can be done. Making the portion of the roadway a part of Arlington’s local road system would streamline such reviews and give the county more flexibility to implement multimodal improvements.

“Since many of the County’s projects on Route 237 utilize urban standards that are not typical of VDOT plans, this often requires obtaining design exceptions in order to implement the project,” said a staff report. “This cumbersome design-exception process adds time and expense to each project.”

The report recommends the Board approve the proposal, arguing that added flexibility in managing several streets that run in parallel to Interstate 66, which is being widened under the “Transform 66” project, is worth the extra expense.

The move is expected to cost the county upwards of $60,000 a year, according to a fiscal impact statement.

Unlike many other counties in Virginia, Arlington County staff performs the full range of road maintenance functions on the 1,051 lane miles of road and would accept conveyance and responsibility for the maintenance of the additional 6.61 lane miles constituting this portion of Route 237. Per Section 33.2-366 of the Virginia Code, Arlington County receives a per lane-mile payment each fiscal year for the maintenance of its secondary road system. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 rate, approved by the CTB on June 20, 2017, is $18,515.71 per lane-mile; the rate typically escalates each year. Maintenance responsibilities include landscaping, sidewalk repair, street sweeping, paving, plowing, signage, and pavement markings, which cost the County roughly $28,000 per lane-mile of roadway, based on the County’s most recently reported average maintenance cost per lane-mile.

… This equates to $60,000 – $70,000 in additional net tax support to the County. The precise level of service for this portion of Route 237 and associated costs would be determined during the FY 2019 budget deliberations.

The CTB would likely vote on the transfer in September if it is approved by the County Board.

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